Wendell Pierce, Adam Vacula, and Nina Hoss in season three of Jack Ryan (2022)

The Czech Republic has its first female president — in ‘Jack Ryan’, season 3

The third season of Jack Ryan is now streaming on Amazon Prime, and makes for an especially interesting watch for viewers in the Czech Republic: the series filmed in Prague in 2021, and Czech characters play a key role in this season’s storyline.

Chief among those is Alena Kovac, President of the Czech Republic in this Jack Ryan universe and a major character in season 3. Played by German actress Nina Hoss (The Contractor, A Most Wanted Man), she certainly leaves a different impression than her real-life counterpart, and was possibly modeled after Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová.

Current Czech President Miloš Zeman, meanwhile, will leave office early this year after a decade as head of state, and Jack Ryan’s vision of a woman at Prague Castle might come true. Danuše Nerudová, former lector at Mendel University in Brno, polls among the top three candidates competing in this month’s presidential election alongside former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and former NATO general Petr Pavel.

In the third season of Jack Ryan, the Czech President is caught up in a plan to restore Russia to its Soviet-era glory after a benevolent Russian Foreign Minister is assassinated in Prague. Alena Kovac unravels the plot from Prague with the help of the CIA’s James Greer (Wendell Pierce), while a rogue Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) goes on the lam throughout Europe to clear his name.

Prague locations feature throughout the seven-episode series, with Alena’s base at Prague Castle frequently appearing in establishing shots. Other locations in Prague’s city center, including the Old Town area and by Charles Bridge in Malá Strana, can also be glimpsed.

Along with Prague, rural Bohemian locations including the Čáslav Air Force Base are also featured in the third season of Jack Ryan, along with locations throughout Central Europe including Rome, Athens, Vienna, and Budapest.

While Jack Ryan himself doesn’t get into much action in Prague, actor John Krasinski took the opportunity to stop by the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic while in town. At the height of Covid restrictions in the city, he met with officials wearing a face mask.

Other plot points in the third season of Jack Ryan make for some less-than comfortable real-world comparisons. This season was shot before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Russian threats to advance into Ukraine (and Slovakia) feel disturbingly prescient.

Jack Ryan’s Russian leader, meanwhile, is positively heroic compared to his real-world counterpart. President Surikov, played by Mikhail Safronov, is a victim of the Russian insurrection himself, and works with the Czech President to unravel the conspiracy.

Season 3 of Jack Ryan is now streaming on Amazon Prime for audiences worldwide.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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